For many people, the Fourth of July is sunshine with a warm breeze, BBQ smell in the air, packing the car to head to the parade dressed in red, white and blue apparel, followed by fireworks at dusk.
For our Cabot Farm Families, the day starts much earlier than the 11am parade. Everyone gets up extra early so chores are done in time to participate in the local holiday activities. Before the candy collecting and the BBQ grilling, they must feed the herd, milk the cows, and make sure everything is in order before heading off to town. Final touches are put onto the hay wagon and tractor before participating in the parade passing out Cabot cheese to the crowd.Our farm families get their chores done so they can celebrate the Fourth w/ their communities. #FarmerFriday #Happy4th http://ow.ly/P5yfO Click To Tweet
Beth Kennett of Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, VT, Kendra Densmore of Wright Family Farm in Randolph, VT, and Jackie Kempton of Kempton Farm in Peacham, VT, took the time to answer a few questions on how their family spends the holiday.
What are your plans for the 4th of July?
Beth, Liberty Hill Farm: “Our family has a Bed & Breakfast and invites our guests to help decorate the hay wagon and tractor as our float in the small town parade. We throw Cabot ¾ oz bars of cheese and sing patriotic songs as we go through the town of Rochester. After the parade, our family and guests enjoy the community chicken barbecue in the park. Retired farmer, Marvin Harvey, the brother of our former Agri-Mark President Norman Harvey (Norm was president of Agri-Mark in the 1970s) recites the Declaration of Independence from the speakers on the town bandstand, and we all recite the Pledge of Allegiance. There is music and games for the kids, and everyone is welcome!”
Kendra, Wright Family Farm: “After morning chores are finished, we put the final touches on our hay trailer. Randolph’s parade always has a theme; it differs each year. This year’s theme is “America the Beautiful”, so our trailer is decorated with scenic pictures and cows. What is really unique about our float is that we collaborate with three other groups: a non-profit organization, called Middle Branch Grange, and two other Cabot farmers, White Rock Farm and the Williams Farm. There are many people involved, and we all look forward to participating in the parade.”
Jackie, Kempton Farm: “For the Peacham Fourth of July Parade this year, we are going to have several tractors in the parade. The morning of the Fourth, we all pitch in to wash them in the farm yard – the tractors end up sparkling clean! On one tractor will be my husband, William, and our daughter, Chloe. Another will be driven by my brother-in-law, Dylan. The others will be driven by some of our long-time employees. The drivers look forward to throwing Cabot’s ¾ oz. cheese to the crowds, while the rest of the family watches the parade from the porch. After the parade is over, we have a large BBQ and enjoy our time together as a family.”
What is your favorite part about participating in your community’s activities?
Beth: “The best part for me is to have the guests excited by their opportunity to be “participants, not just spectators” in our parade. They love throwing the cheese and they think it is totally cool how the crowd yells for the CHEESE!! It’s fun to be able to involve everyone in our celebration!”
Jackie: “Since Peacham is a small town, everyone knows everyone. Even if we just saw our neighbor five minutes before the parade, they are always excited to see our family in the parade. The tractors, and Cabot cheese are a community favorite! Everyone is always smiling and in a great mood – the Fourth of July is a happy celebration.”
How long have you been handing out cheese at your local parade?
Jackie: “It seems like such a long time. Kempton Farm has been participating in the Peacham Parade for nearly 10 years. This is just one of community festivities that our family looks forward to each year.”
Kendra: “Personally, I have been participating for 4 years, but my fiancé, Andrew Wright, and his parents have been participating in Randolph’s Fourth of July Parade for over 10 years.”
Beth: “We have been throwing cheese for more than 15 years. I started it when the ¾ oz. were first sold at the Cabot annex. I wanted something other than candy. Pencils were too dangerous, cow erasers did not work well, and you can’t throw stickers from the hay wagon. Cabot ¾ oz. bars were perfect!!”
And if you’re looking for recipes for your Fourth of July BBQ, these were voted the best family picnic recipes by us here at Cabot!
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